Page 1

Small Association – The Big Picture – Compliance - PT 1 p.8

Your Time Is Up! Time Restrictions During Forums p.16

Roofs and Decks: A Maintanance Perspective p.20

Resolving Problems with Absentee Owners p.26

Causes and Cures of “Hot Spots” in Turf p.32

September 2013

Serving Community Associations

Small Association The Big Picture Compliance Part 1 p.8

ECHO 1602 The Alameda STE 101 San Jose, CA 95126 Change Service Requested

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BEYOND MANAGEMENT Our passion for community management starts our day so yours may end with the peace of mind knowing we have taken care of everything. At M & C, our proactive community management services are designed to simplify your life and strengthen your community. Here’s just some of what we provide: • Local, industry certified management • Unmatched educational programs for board members • Cutting-edge systems and digital solutions • Savings on the products and services your community uses every day • Family-friendly programs which promote health, safety, and “green” living Contact us today to learn how M & C goes beyond management. | (800) 843-3351

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Small Association – The Big Picture – Compliance – Part 1 California has a myriad of compliance requirements for homeowner associations and for the protection of owners in them. There more than a hundred statutes on the books in California relating to HOAs. And there are regulatory documents that exist for each and every HOA.


Your Time Is Up! : Time Restrictions During Homeowners’ Forum Hearing about the various issues affecting the association and the Board members’ opinions on the same is crucial to maintaining transparency in the association’s business dealings.




Roofs and Decks: A Maintenance Perspective

For both roofs and decks, semi-annual inspections are the first step in any proactive preventative maintenance program. This allows the ability to identify and solve any problems as they occur with the least cost and consequential damage.

Resolving Problems with Absentee Owners As a professional community association manager for over twenty-five years, I have found that a “problem” unit in the communities I manage are more likely to be occupied by a non-owner resident than by an owner resident.

Causes and Cures of “Hot Spots” in Turf

One of the most common problems in turf care is addressing “hot spots” in turf. Often identified as an area where the turf is not an even green, these “spots” can be easier to see than to know how to fix

The ECHO Journal is published monthly by the Educational Community for Homeowners. The views of authors expressed in the articles herein do not necessarily reflect the views of ECHO. We assume no responsibility for the statements and opinions advanced by the contributors to the magazine. It is released with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. Acceptance of advertising does not constitute any endorsement or recommendation, expressed or implied, of the advertiser or any goods or services offered. We reserve the right to reject any advertising copy. Copyright 2013 Educational Community for Homeowners. All rights reserved. Reproduction, except by written permission of ECHO is prohibited. The ECHO membership list is never released to any outside individual or organization. ECHO 1602 The Alameda, Suite 101 San Jose, CA 95126 408-297-3246 Fax: 408-297-3517 Office Hours Monday-Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm Board of Directors and Officers President David Hughes Vice President Karl Lofthouse Treasurer Diane Rossi Secretary Jennifer Allivato



News from ECHO


ECHO Sacramento Educational Seminar — September 7


ECHO Monterey Educational Seminar — September 21


ECHO Bookstore


Advertiser Index


ECHO Event Calendar


ECHO Volunteers


Legislation at a Glimpse

Directors Jerry L. Bowles Stephanie Hayes Robert Rosenberg Brian Seifert Steven Weil

John Garvic David Levy Kurtis Shenefiel Wanden Treanor

Executive Director Brian Kidney Director of Marketing & Membership Jennifer Allivato Director of Communications Tyler Coffin Legislative Consultant Government Strategies, Inc. Design and Production Design Site ECHO Mission Statement Serving Community Associations

September 2013 | ECHO Journal


news from ECHO

News From ECHO September 2013 I want to thank all of the attendees and vendors who participated in ECHO San Jose, our 41st Annual Seminar. Because of you, it was a great success! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, and I hope you’ll be with us again. We have two educational seminars this month, both in new places for ECHO. Join us! On September 7, we’ll be in Sacramento with a terrific line-up of speakers. Deon Stein, Esq. will update you on the New Davis-Stirling Act, going into effect on January 1st. Bill Erlanger, CPA and Adam Haney, CPA will take the mystique out of HOA Financials. And Ian Brown, CCAM will help you treat your HOA as the multimillion dollar business it is. The program will be held at the Westin Hotel from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm. See page 15 for more information and a sign-up form. On September 21, we’ll be in Monterey with different speakers discussing different topics. Sandra Bonato, Esq. will describe what “fiduciary obligation” really means. John Allanson will make sense of HOA insurance. And Diane Rossi will give a manager’s perspective on Board member responsibilities. The program will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm. See page 31 for more information and a sign-up form. We are putting together our seminar program for next year and will announce it soon. We’re planning to bring you the best professionals in your area offering expert advice on critical issues for your Association. There’s no better way to understand the important roles and responsibilities you shoulder as an HOA Board member than hearing it directly from the pros. And you’ll have an opportunity to get your specific questions answered. I am also pleased to announce that the ECHO Annual Meeting of Members will be held on November 8, 2013, at 9:30 am, at the Hotel Pacific in Monterey. We will be sending out proxies this month, asking you to vote to approve ECHO Board members, and we urge you to fill them out and return them to us so we can announce the election results at the Annual Meeting. Thank you for your support of ECHO. I hope you will let us know how we can make your membership as fulfilling an experience as possible. We are committed to providing the best educational information and experience for HOA Directors. You take your Director roles seriously and we do too. Best, Brian Kidney

Executive Director


It’s finally here. Read. Watch. Learn. Visit today. ECHO’s new website is up and running. For those of you who provided your email address to ECHO, you should have received instructions on how to login and take advantage of our new system. If you have not provided your email address to ECHO, here’s how you gain access to our members-only information:

If you are the president of your association… You are the “primary contact” for your association and have permission to manage your association’s members and account information. If you choose, you can designate your manager to perform these tasks. You may also assign the primary contact role to another board member in your association. If you do not already have login information, please contact ECHO and provide your email address, name, and association name. Email: Call: 408.297.3246 x21

If you are NOT the president of your association… Your association president is automatically assigned the “Primary Contact” role. Contact your president and ask them to add your email address to your account along with a temporary password. If your association president is unavailable, contact ECHO and provide your email address, name, position within the association (board member, owner, etc.) and association name. Email: Call: 408.297.3246 x21

September 2013 | ECHO Journal


Small Association –The Big Picture– Compliance –Part 1

Are You Slowly Sinking In The Sea Of California Compliance Requirements? Better Start Bailing! By Beth Grimm, Esq.



e bale hay and bail a boat. The government bails out failing banks and companies. People “bail” on relationships or bad marriages. Here, in context, when I say “better start bailing”, I mean doing what it takes to stay afloat.

September 2013 | ECHO Journal



ini Courts HOA consists of 10 homes, 4 houses to a court, 2 homes in between the courts on the residential street. Each owner owns their house and lot. The only maintenance responsibility the HOA has is to maintain the asphalt courts and sidewalks, and maintain the front lawns of the Lots. Pretty simple, right? What can go wrong? Sorry to report, quite a few things can go wrong. California has a myriad of compliance requirements for homeowner associations and for the protection of owners in them. The Secretary of State and some local agencies have regulations and regular reporting requirements. There more than a hundred statutes on the books in California relating to HOAs. And there are regulatory documents that exist for each and every HOA. Yes, there are layers and layers of compliance requirements. And burying your head in the sand to avoid having to recognize them exposes your derriere! Consider this example: in Mini Courts HOA (fictitious name), for several years, an owner stepped up and unilaterally assumed “management” of the Association. Perhaps no one else was willing to get involved. Maybe he didn’t ask. He paid himself $200 a month and sent out the annual assessment notices, collected operating and reserve funds, reconciled the bank accounts, and paid the landscape company. He and his wife planted some flowers by the mailboxes. Fairly recently he received a life-altering diagnosis and could no longer do any of these things. He loaded two boxes of records onto a hand truck and rolled them over to the neighbors’ porch. They had talked across the fence but never about passing on the HOA duties from one to another. These neighbors were both professionals and fully capable of doing what it would take to learn how to manage a homeowners association. The problem was neither of them had the time to spend 100 hours or even 10 hours a week educating themselves and keeping up with the law that regulates homeowner associations. The wife was a lawyer and had selected exposure to the Davis Stirling Act regulating HOAs in California because one firm she had worked in years before did insurance 10

defense, and some cases involved defending contractors in HOA construction defect claims. She had been exposed very peripherally to corporate law and the concept of directors making decisions in one job. She had an understanding of the concept of legal disclosures and liability from having worked for a real estate law firm. She understood “deep pocket” theories because she had defended some “small fish in a big pond” with peripheral involvement but who also had pockets lined with insurance policies (a recovery source for plaintiff lawyers). She had just enough knowledge to start peppering her husband with questions and concerns about legal responsibility

California has a myriad of compliance requirements for homeowner associations and for the protection of owners in them. The Secretary of State and some local agencies have regulations and regular reporting requirements. There are more than a hundred statutes on the books in California relating to HOAs. and liability. She knew enough to motivate her “pragmatic-left-brain-engineer” husband to get busy and move the effort forward to get the HOA rolling in the right direction. For the past couple years, they had both glibly assumed the neighbor must’ve known what he was doing since he had done it for so many years.

Minimal HOA responsibility. Should be a cinch, right? Not necessarily so. In short order they found out that the boxes of records were far from organized.

Then they found out that some of the owners had not paid assessments for a couple of years. Then they found out that the association, a corporation, was tagged as “inactive” in status on the Secretary of State website ( gov/business). There were no copies of filed statements with the Secretary of State or tax returns at all, no minutes, no indication of any meetings, elections, or annual disclosures to members. They had lived there a couple of years and couldn’t remember getting any notices about financials, meetings or elections. The neighbor never mentioned any. He had in chatting with them across the driveway told them, when they said they were thinking of getting a screen door in the front, that there was an approval process. He was the “approval process” and helped them choose the “right” one. They paid their assessments each month from a coupon book the “manager” gave them each year, and understood the money was used to maintain the streets and front yards. Soon the “manager” neighbor went into hospice. His wife was clueless. So there was not even any source of “history” available. The engineer husband (now acting President, according to the “manager neighbor” on his way out) was willing to give it a go, but as time went on, he began to realize that the compliance requirements for HOAs in California were overwhelming and none had been satisfied since he and his wife had purchased their home, or for a long time before that. He tried to pull together accounting records that were a mess, vowed to confront the landscapers who had really slacked off when the neighbor got sick and didn’t keep after them, and began to look at some of the compliance requirements noted in The Davis Stirling Act In Plain English (a publication of this author). It became clear there was a lot to learn. And then, to add insult to injury, another neighbor put their home up for sale, gave the engineer’s address (mailing and email) and phone number to the realtor for the escrow demand, and a new owner moved into the neighborhood. The couple was kept busy getting copies of what they could find to answer the “demand” and soon found out the new neighbor was a complainer, about

2013 ECHO educational calendar

ECHO Seminars Now there’s one near you. Only two Educational Seminars remain for 2013, including educational Seminars in Sacramento and Monterey. Don’t miss an opportunity to get the education you need with guidance from some of California’s top HOA attorneys and professionals.

Santa Rosa


Marin Walnut Creek Oakland San Francisco

San Jose

Sept. 7

Sept. 21

Sacramento Educational Seminar

Monterey Educational Seminar

Westin Hotel, Sacramento

Hilton Garden Inn, Monterey

(see page 15)

Campbell Santa Cruz

(see page 31)

Fresno Monterey

Register today! Online: By Phone: 408.297.3246

September 2013 | ECHO Journal 11

something new every day: garbage cans left out a day too long, a car parked in a driveway overnight, kids’ chalk marked hopscotch boxes on the court sidewalks, and a neighbor’s Saturday garage sale to raise proceeds for his church. The person had no boundaries keeping him from appearing at the door after dark, and calling or emailing every day to note some “problem” and ask when something would be done about it. Annoyed isn’t quite descriptive enough for what the “new President” was beginning to feel. With the help of his wife who had some specialized knowledge, and an outside resource that knew even more, and being the pragmatic soul he was, the President charted out a methodical course which included these things:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Sort the documents, books and records Prepare a notice to owners Call an association meeting Recruit board members Gather information to fix the corporate status Talk to the landscapers, and Look for a long term solution for managing the HOA.

The Path to “Recovery” Can Be a Bumpy One Imagine that you live in a small development and you hear, see, or receive something that suggests you are part of a smaller “community” within the city or county in which you reside. If you failed to read the documents in the pile of things you signed in escrow (and who has the time or inclination?), or you purchased without going through escrow, you could easily be oblivious to that fact. Notice might come in the form of a shared driveway, talking casually with a neighbor; receiving a letter from the City, County, or even the Secretary of State or Franchise Tax Board; receiving a notice from a neighbor demanding that you participate 12

in replacing a failing fence or retaining wall; receiving an escrow demand for a home in the community; receiving an invoice for assessments. More than 60% of the 40,000+ homeowner associations in California have fewer than 25 units, and no one to guide them in the California compliance requirements. There are resources, one of which is the author of this Article. But one has to know to look, and what to look for, and why.

Why should anyone be concerned about locating and/or organizing documents and records? Because the documents are the legal glue that holds the association together. They need to be available, to be read, with at least minimal maintenance, which means occasional updating, and/or follow through with good rules and policies. Every association should have a common repository for copies of documents. Some documents are more important than others. Here is the recognized hierarchy. Recorded, Regulatory Document: At the least, there should be a recorded “Declaration” of some sort, such as a “Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions” or “Enabling Declaration” or “Restrictive Covenants”. These are the restrictions on the property in the development, including land use regulations, maintenance assessments, architectural controls, insurance requirements, and obligations that relate specifically to the real property and an owner’s use of it. In California, it is usually the former and the name is often shortened to “CC&Rs.” If you can’t locate any document that looks like a “Declaration”, all is not lost. Take a look at your own deed, or go to the local county recorder’s office and search the name of your development, assuming you know it, or your own name, to find your deed. A review of the deed description on your own personal deed, and if you received one, a title insurance report or warranty, should disclose the Declaration references you need to get the HOA documents from the recorder’s office. If the title company did its job properly, and you live in a CID which is defined as a common interest

development – it should become apparent when you review the deed. Ownership in a CID in California equates to ownership in a community apartment project, a condominium project, a planned development or a stock cooperative. Definitions for these can be found in The Davis Stirling Common Interest Development Act located at Civil Code Section 1351-1378 in the California law books (online at, ECHO-ca. org/law and www.californiacondoguru/ mainpage.html, and on the shelf at your local library). After January 1, 2014, this Act will be moved to Civil Code Section 4000s-6000s.

Because the documents are the legal glue that holds the association together. They need to be available, to be read, with at least minimal maintenance, which means occasional updating, and/ or follow through with good rules and policies. Even if you own a free standing home on a lot, you could be part of a CID with architectural and/or landscaping restrictions, an entry gate, common mailboxes, assessments, and/or powers of enforcing related restrictions, and there should be some recorded restrictions. The “Charter” Document for the Association: A homeowners association is a group that is incorporated or unincorporated (usually incorporated in California), which is created for the purpose of managing a common interest development. Not all HOAs are incorporated, but most in California are. The Articles of Incorporation is the document filed with the state that incorporates an HOA. The board of directors is the elected, deliberative body responsible for managing, planning,

setting policy and operation of an HOA. Members of unincorporated associations generally have more personal risk for a board’s mistakes or in the event of an accident in the development than in an incorporated association. There are a number of benefits to incorporation. However, if your association is a corporation and the status is suspended, then action needs to be taken at the earliest opportunity to reinstate the California HOA to active status so the board can operate legally. That may include filing back tax returns (yes, even though you do not pay taxes as a nonprofit) and informational forms and giving copies of documents to the Secretary of State and/ or Franchise Tax Board. The Organizational Document for the HOA: Most common interest developments have homeowner associations (HOAs) to administer the regulatory requirements and manage the development. The document that sets up the organizational structure for the HOA whether incorporated or unincorporated is called the Bylaws. Sometimes the provisions that should be included in a set of Bylaws are actually stated in the Declaration/CC&Rs instead, and there are no Bylaws. Bylaws are important and if you cannot locate any for your association, as soon as a board is formed, it should look at getting a set drafted and approved, and the provisions in the CC&Rs amended out, with member approval if it is required. The Bylaws contain the requirements related to notices, elections, records review, the number of directors, board candidate qualifications, dates, places and times of meetings, board authority and powers, required member disclosures, and the officers’ appointment, designations and duties, and the fiscal year. The Policies/Rules/Regulations: If you come across policies, rules and regulations, keep them with the official HOA documents. These are normally drafted and approved by the the board of directors, and reflect CC&Rs and official policy, many times adding important detail to the regulations. Sometimes owners are allowed to vote on adoption of rules and/or regulations. Governing Documents: Under California law, the declaration of CC&Rs and other documents such as bylaws, articles of incorporation and rules which govern operation of the association are collectively September 2013 | ECHO Journal 13

called the governing documents and the Davis Stirling Act does in many sections use these terms, referring to “Declaration” specifically, and “governing documents” collectively, quite frequently. Key Note: It is important to locate, gather up and read those documents, and do your very best to understand them or get help to do so, whether you are a board member or not, but especially if you are a board member! Honoring them is critical to the “health” of your development.If they are sorely outdated (which a good, honest, and knowledgeable HOA attorney can tell you), it is necessary to put on your list of things to do to explore options for getting the documents updated. Most amendments and restatements require membership approval. Next on the list after locating, categorizing and sorting the documents, books and records, and finding a place for them, the acting “President” in Mini Courts HOA prepared a notice to owners. He included the following items: news about the former manager, documents that existed in the files, outstanding assessments (not by name reference but fact that accounts needed to be brought current), scheduling of a meeting to share reports on financial books and records and status, plea for board candidates, note about intent to hold election, note about corporate status and intent to research correcting the problem, note about the landscapers and intent to address any complaints – and invitation to send them in – and note about need for cooperation, volunteerism, and a long range plan. In Small Association – The Big Picture, PART II, you will find more on how this small association is pulling itself up by the bootstraps, and what issues come into play in doing so. Beth Grimm, Esq. is ECHO East Bay Resource Panel Chairperson, a 20+ year member of ECHO and CAI, and author of FINDING THE KEY TO YOUR CASTLE, THE CONDO OWNERS HANDBOOK by Sourcebooks, THE DAVIS STIRLING ACT IN PLAIN ENGLISH, and other helpful community association publications. Visit www. for more information. 14

Sacramento Educational Seminar Saturday, September 7, 2013 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM



Westin Hotel 4800 Riverside Blvd. Sacramento, CA 95822



The Business of Being an HOA

Ian Brown, CCAM

HOA Financials

William Erlanger, CPA Adam Haney, CPA


New Davis-Stirling

Deon Stein, Esq.

$59 $49 Members $69 $59 Nonmembers Prices go up after August 23!

Join us at our first-ever Sacramento Seminar and get expert legal guidance, financial tips, and more. The Sacramento Educational Seminar is the perfect opportunity to meet fellow board members, strengthen your community, and reduce your association’s liability. Watch our website and the ECHO Journal for more speaker and topic announcements.


September 2013 | ECHO Journal 15

Your Time Is Up! Time Restrictions During Homeowners’ Forum

By: Kevin C. Canty, Esq.



eetings of the Board of Directors are always important to the function of a homeowners association. Board meetings not only provide

an opportunity for the Board members to congregate, but under the Open Meeting Act, board meetings are the only time (outside of emergency meetings) during which business may be conducted. As such, the time designated for this meeting can effectively decide the course and success of an association. Accordingly, many members find attendance at, and participation in, Board meetings as integral to membership. Hearing about the various issues affecting the association and the Board members’ opinions on the same is crucial to maintaining transparency in the association’s business dealings. As many decisions concern expenditure of the association’s funds, members also view open Board meetings as a “check and balance” on the directors’ use of the membership’s money.

September 2013 | ECHO Journal 17

The purpose of the Homeowners’ Forum is to ensure that members have a platform on which to express their thoughts, but that cannot be a substitute for other agenda items and the important decisions to be made by the Board. The method by which homeowners can engage in the Board meeting is addressed in California Civil Code Section 1363.05 (known as the Open Meeting Act), which specifically recognizes the right of homeowners to speak at Board Meetings. Subsection (h) reads: “The board of directors of the association shall permit any member of the association to speak at any meeting of the association or the board of directors, except for meetings of the board held in executive session.” As such, Board meetings should always preserve a time, known as “Homeowners’ Forum” ( or “Open Forum”), during which homeowners can express their opinions on various issues concerning the Association. There is no restriction on what a member can discuss during such Homeowners’ Forum. Accordingly, a member may choose to discuss pending business or an issue that was discussed by the Board earlier in the meeting. A member may also choose to discuss new business or potential issues which the Association may be facing. It is also appropriate for a member to express a personal concern or issue that is affecting just that homeowner. Although the Board cannot necessarily respond to the homeowner’s comment in substance, as long as the comment addresses an association issue (not just a non-specific unrelated grievance), the homeowner should be given an opportunity to speak. However, the Civil Code makes clear that a homeowner’s opportunity to speak can be restricted in one manner - time. Subsection (h) states: “[a] reasonable time limit for all members of the 18

association to speak to the board of directors or before a meeting of the association shall be established by the board of directors.” The reasons behind this singular restriction are numerous.


a time limit safeguards the right of other homeowners to speak, as well. We can all recollect being in a class, seminar or even a discussion with friends, where one person monopolizes the time and conversation without giving anyone else an opportunity to speak or respond. Not only do such individuals frustrate those around them, but sometimes, it results in apathy or “tuning out” of the people waiting to speak. Homeowners’ Forum is intended for the entire membership - not just one or two members who want to dominate the conversation.


reasonable time limits also encourage (if not force), a homeowner to be concise and specific during their comments. Again, with no time limitation, most individuals will find things to say, often repeating themselves, while not adding anything of value to the conversation. Time limits make a homeowner aware that they need to focus their statements on the important issue and what they want - i.e. the bottom line - rather than allowing the individual to editorialize without restraint.


time limits ensure that Board meetings move forward efficiently. Especially for larger associations and/or associations with vocal memberships, time limits allow meetings to proceed with the business of the association. The purpose of the Homeowners’ Forum is to ensure that members have a platform on which to express their thoughts, but that cannot be a substitute for other agenda items and the important decisions to be made by the Board. While Homeowners’ Forum is an integral and required part of any Board Meeting, reasonable time restrictions are a tool Boards may use to ensure that the purpose behind such Forum is preserved. Kevin Canty, Esq. is a partner in the law firm Angius & Terry, LLP in Walnut Creek. He has represented community association clients throughout the State of California for nearly a decade. September 2013 | ECHO Journal 19


Roofs and decks: a maintenance perspective By Steven Saarman


or both roofs and decks, semi-annual inspections are the first step in any proactive preventative maintenance program. This allows the ability to identify and solve any problems as they occur with the least

cost and consequential damage. The inspections should be scheduled in the spring, after the ravages of winter have passed and again in early fall, after the heat of summer has passed and in anticipation of winter. These are critical periods to “tune-up� both systems. Both roofs and decks are basically horizontal surfaces and, consequently, get more abuse from the elements (i.e. sun and rain) than any other part of the building.

September 2013 | ECHO Journal 21

The most common roofing materials used locally are: asphalt composition shingles, built-up and modified bitumen, wood shakes and shingles and clay or concrete tiles. There are maintenance elements common to each of these roof types, as well as roof-type specific maintenance procedures. Clean all debris from the roof surface. This includes debris that has accumulated behind HVAC units, skylights, chimneys, pipes, pitch pockets or any other penetrations. Debris has a tendency to retain moisture and accelerate deterioration of the roofing material, especially if it is asphalt or wood based. Check all flashings to make sure they have not deteriorated, there are no holes in them or that joints or seams have not broken loose due to thermal expansion and contraction. If flashings need to be replaced, always have flashings installed with “slope to drain” away from the building, not flat or reversed sloped, which will retain water, push it back towards the building and increase the potential for leaks.


Check all caulking and sealants on flashings, caps or copings. Scrape and remove any caulking that is cracked and damaged. Clean thoroughly and replace it with a polyurethane caulking such as NP-1 or Sikaflex 1A. Keep your gutters and downspouts, drains and scuppers clean and free of debris. Test your downspouts before winter to make sure they run free and aren’t clogged. Clogged downspouts cause gutters to fill up in heavy rains and increase the chances of water flowing backwards under the roofing. Trim back any overhanging tree branches that will add to accumulated roof debris and possible abrasion of the roof surface. This is also a good preventative measure from a fire prevention point of view. If you have split levels roofs, make sure the siding around the roofing is maintained. This siding is often not looked at, so it has a tendency to fall into disrepair. These side wall leaks are often interpreted as roofing leaks.

Keep moss, fungus and algae off your roofs. As the organisms grow, they penetrate the wood or asphaltic surfaces, breaking down the wood, weakening fibers, wearing off the protective granules or coatings and generally accelerating substrate deterioration. Zinc “control strips” along ridges and hips are an effective and proactive control measure and are easy to install. With asphalt composition shingle roofs, replace any weather-damaged shingles (i.e. cracked, curled or missing). As a tune-up, if some of the shingle tabs are loose, apply a dab of roof cement on either side of the tab to reattach. This will help prevent wind blow-off. Remember, a shingle roof is a waterproof plane composed of overlapping layers of shingles like the feathers on the back of a duck. When it is healthy and well maintained, water will always run off. Built-up or modified bitumen roofs consist of multiple layers of felts laminated together with bitumen and are designed for low slope. Low sloped roofs are generally sloped a minimum of ¼ in. per foot, while sloped roofs generally have a minimum pitch of 4:12. Proper substrate sloping with valleys and crickets allow water to be channeled toward drains. Therefore, the condition of the surface is critical. Ponding water over 48 hours accelerates roof deterioration and creates a “reservoir” when the leak occurs. Gravel is applied and imbedded into the top asphalt surface to protect the lower layers from UV penetration and material breakdown. This is why bald spots need to be addressed. Check the edge metal around the perimeter of the roof. Make sure it isn’t separating at the seams where the asphalt overlaps on to the metal. Also, if you detect blisters in the roof, don’t step on or puncture them. Blisters are a sign that moisture has entered between the roofing layers and the warmth of the sun has caused the water to vaporize and expand between the layers, creating the blister. Contact a qualified roofing contractor to repair any of these issues if noticed during one of your semi-annual inspections. As a reference point on what life span one can expect from a built-up roof, under ideal conditions, a 3-ply built-up roof should last at least 15 years, a 4-ply should last at least 20 years and a 5-ply should last

at least 25 years. Quality installation and proactive maintenance is key to achieving the full life expectancy of any roof system. Cedar shakes and shingles have been used for hundreds of years because they perform well. Cedar is a wood product, so it needs to breath and therefore the surface must be kept clean of debris. This means both the top surface area and the keyways between the shingles. Attic ventilation is also very important with cedar shakes or shingles, so heat and moisture do not build up in the attic area and detrimentally affect life expectancy of the shingles. Clay and cement tiles are extremely durable, fire resistant and long lasting. If they are being considered as a roof replacement alternative, the roof framing must be analyzed by a structural engineer because of the added weight of the material. After the semi-annual inspection, the roofer should replace any cracked tiles, tune-up any flashings and repoint ridges and hips with mortar to maintain a watertight condition. Decks are built to provide an exterior extension to the interior living space. As an extension, it therefore has a structure for support, a means of attachment to the building and a walking surface. Each of these areas have design and maintenance concerns. What the deck structure is made of is determined by design and building codes. Wood-framed deck structures are built from either Douglas fir framing or pressure treated framing material. If the deck surface is of a membrane type that moves water horizontally and does not allow water to pass through and soak the framing, the framing material is generally of non-pressure treated wood. If the walking surface is open slotted planking where water drains through the surface and wets the framing, pressure treated material must be used by code. There are deck-type specific flashing details for both membrane and open drainage deck systems. Membrane type decks are like roofs and must be constructed to be watertight. Water only touches the top-walking surface; so the waterproofing elements and flashings September 2013 | ECHO Journal 23

work together to form a “bath tub� with a drain. With an open drainage deck system, water runs through spaced decking and over the supporting wood structure, the structural metal fasteners, nails and bolts which then become susceptible to decay and corrosion. When the structural framing material is pressure treated, wood decay is not an issue, but there is a heightened concern with corrosion of the metal fasteners. Standard carbon steel or aluminum should never be in contact with pressure treated material. Even electroplated nails or fasteners do not have a thick enough layer of zinc to provide adequate corrosion protection. Only hot-dipped galvanized or stainless steel nails, screws, bolts and fasteners are recommended. The traditional surface walking material for open drainage decks has been all-heart redwood, which has a service life 10 to 20 years. Alternate wood products such as mahogany and Ipe have become popular

due to the increase in cost and scarcity of all-heart redwood. Ipe is a hardwood requiring moderate maintenance and has a service life of at least 20+ years. Redwood with sap wood (white in color) is inferior for decking because sapwood has little decay resistance, but it is cheaper and will only provide a service life of 7 to 12 years. Manufactured composite decking materials are also a viable option. They come in various colors and profiles, will not rot, have very low maintenance requirements and generally come with a 10 year warranty, but actually are expected to last 30 to 40 years. When choosing a replacement decking material, consider the cost of material, anticipated service life, maintenance requirements, slickness of the surface when wet and flame spread characteristics. Combustibility of decking materials, both real wood and composite materials, has been tested because decks are often a path of egress during a fire. The decking material that maintained the greatest structural support and also had the lowest flame spread characteristics was 2x redwood! If your deck faces open space, this should be a consideration. Another issue with open drainage decks is the attachment of the deck boards to the framing. Over time, nails that attach the deck boards will channel water down into the center of the structural framing members and cause decay. That is why the code now requires all exposed deck framing to be pressure treated. When replacing decking over existing nonpressure treated material, protect the top of the joists with a strip of flexible membrane, which self-seals around the


To get the most out of your roofs and decks, an association must develop and implement a preventative maintenance program. An observant eye, and not living in denial, is a large proactive step forward. nails and helps prevent water from being channeled into the center of the framing. Simpson also makes metal strips, which allow attachment to both the side of the joist, and into the bottom of the deck board, thereby alleviating the need for top nail attachment. Membrane decks are of two types: buried and surface-applied. Buried membrane decks consist of a waterproof membrane integrated with metal flashings installed over a sloped substrate. The membrane is covered with a drainage/protection mat to facilitate movement of water over the membrane and to protect the membrane for the next step. This system is then overplayed with concrete or mortar and tile as the primary wear surface, fully protecting the waterproof membrane below. This is the most costly deck system to initially install, but offers tremendous advantages of very low maintenance and a service life of 50+ years. Only poor installation details or application will cause this type of deck to experience problems. Surface membrane decks are very popular, have much lower installation

costs and require moderate maintenance. On average, they must be top-coated every 3 to 5 years and a new membrane applied every 12 to 15 years. They are damaged by prolonged moisture (i.e. ponding, carpeting or plant pots not on feet) and are prone to abrasive damage (i.e. unprotected furniture feet or heavy foot traffic). Repairs are easily executed and affordable, but, if such decks are left unattended, substantial damage may occur and repair costs will escalate. Typical preventative maintenance programs for surface membranes involve visually inspecting each deck semiannually. Because the top surface is the waterproofing element, its condition is critical for performance. Just like a preventative program with roof, implement the following: Remove all debris to prevent accumulating and trapping moisture. Make sure nothing is placed on top of the membrane that does not allow it to dry out. Visually check seams, look for cracks, note water stains indicating pending and look at heavily used areas, such as below a table or barbeque, for problems with the membrane surface. Make sure drains and scuppers drain freely. Lightly power wash the surface to remove moss, fungus or algae. A mild soap or TSP solution may be used to help clean the surface and remove stains. To get the most out of your roofs and decks, an association must develop and implement a preventative maintenance program. An observant eye, and not living in denial, is a large proactive step forward. If you are at the stage to consider replacement of materials, become a vigilant well informed consumer. Utilize the resources around you and ask questions! As is often said, “The only dumb question is the question not asked.� Each association is ultimately the guardian of its own equity and its destiny. Good luck! Steve Saarman is a principal at Saarman Construction, Ltd. He frequently writes for the ECHO Journal and speaks at ECHO seminars. He was the ECHO Volunteer of the Year in 2004. September 2013 | ECHO Journal 25

resolving problems


By Diane Marie Rossi, PCAM, CCAM

with absentee owners


common complaint from boards of directors is problems with absentee property owners. Renters and landlords are blamed for many of the problems in an association. Some associations have

amended their governing documents to limit the number of rentals allowed in their associations. As a professional community association manager for over twenty-five years, I have found that a “problem� unit in the communities I manage are more likely to be occupied by a non-owner resident than by an owner resident.

September 2013 | ECHO Journal 27

Why do rental units become a problem for the association? Consider at minimum the following two possibilities:


Poor choice of renters by the landlord: A renter may not fully understand or appreciate the lifestyle changes required for a successful residency in a high- density development. They may like to “party” late into the night, play their stereo or a musical instrument too loudly, have too many cars, or have animals or children who are allowed to play in the common areas without supervision. Sometimes to obtain the maximum rental income, the landlord permits a large number of individuals to rent the unit so that the unit functions more like a rooming house rather than a single-family residence. Many times in households with several unrelated adults, frequent numerous guests (also with cars) cause parking and noise problems. However, these traits are by no means limited to renters, and you may recognize one or more of these situations in your own association.


Uninformed renters: Renters are sometimes not given a copy of the rules and regulations at the time they sign the rental agreement. The renter was not informed there is a limit on the number of vehicles that can be parked inside the development (which is invariably a number less than the number of cars they own). They didn’t know that the spa closes at 10:00 p.m. They were not told their friends couldn’t park in the fire lane when coming by “for only a few minutes.” No one told them they couldn’t have two dogs AND two cats. The “rules-breakers” place the board of directors and the association manager in the role of being a policeman. No one


wants to be a policeman in an association. It is one of the most undesirable elements of being a manager or board member.

Avoiding Problems with Renters Use the techniques of education and enlistment. Make sure all your residents (both tenants and owners) are educated about the rules and what is expected of them. Enlist their support and cooperation. Don’t wait until there is a problem to make contact. The following are some ways to carry out education and enlistment.


Create a resident handbook. Include information on parking regulations, quiet hours, pool and spa rules and hours of operations, garbage can storage, skateboards and pets. Publish the name and phone number of the manager or the board members if your association is self-managed. Give several copies to each non-resident owner.


Form an active social committee. Invite residents and owners to get together periodically. Some associations I manage organize potlucks; Easter egg hunts for the children, Christmas caroling, Halloween parades through the complex, and volunteer workdays. In these associations almost everyone knows everyone else, and problems are minimized. Residents ask each other the important questions: “Does my dog bark when I’m not home? Is my teenage son’s music too loud?”


Involve non-resident owners. Establish a telephone tree to call owners and personally invite them to come to the annual meeting. Increase attendance at your annual meeting by distributing flyers a few days before to remind owners, combine the meeting with a social event, consider a door prize. Consider changing the day and time (check bylaws first). Talk about resident issues at the annual meeting. Help the non-resident owner to understand that the manager and the board of directors are not landlords. Encourage them to be a

good neighbor by choosing a good tenant for their unit. Encourage them to run for the board of directors. Some of the best board members I’ve worked with were non-resident owners.


Develop a welcoming committee. Personally deliver a letter of welcome to all new owners and residents. Give them a copy of your resident handbook. Answer questions about the development. Create a sense of community in your homeowners association. Make new residents feel like a “wanted” member of the community. Most people want to be a good neighbor. It is much easier to solicit support and cooperation before a problem occurs.

Obtaining Compliance from Rule Breakers You have developed your association’s rules and distributed them to all residents and owners. You should also develop a fining schedule (check the association governing documents first for authority) and distribute it to all residents and owners. Although the legal requirement is that the fining schedule must be distributed only once unless changes are made, I strongly recommend you mail copies every year to all owners and tenants. A good time to distribute the schedule to the owners is with your annual disclosure packet. I recommend the schedule have a provision for at least one warning before implementing a fine. Fines should be used as a tool to obtain compliance when a polite request to comply is not successful.

the resident’s help in resolving the problem. I recommend two people (there is comfort in numbers), but more than two can seem intimidating, especially if you are meeting with only one resident. Don’t act like a policeman. Act like a neighbor. If the behavior continues, mail a letter to the owner of the unit. If the unit is tenant occupied, send a copy to the tenant. Reference your earlier contact with the resident. Request that the owner attend your next board meeting to discuss the problem personally. Tell them the board intends to take action at this meeting to levy a fine. Give them an opportunity to attend the meeting to show cause why the fine should not be levied. Fewer than half of the owners receiving such a letter will actually attend. Expect to receive a telephone call from a non-resident owner saying they have spoken to the tenant about the problem and assuring you it will not happen again. The resident owner may or may not respond. However, in more than 90 percent of the cases the problem will not happen again, at least not in the near future. Again, owners and most tenants really want to do the right thing and be a good neighbor.

Sometimes, even after doing everything right, you still have a rule breaker. They probably know the rules, they either think the rule is not “fair” (my mother always told me life is not fair); doesn’t apply to them; or feel they can continue to get away with the violation. Those associations with the highest success rate in resolving violations have at least two board members willing to try the personal touch. A formal letter of violation is prepared to outline and document the violation for the record. Two members of the board personally deliver the letter to the resident in a friendly, non-judgmental environment. This face-to-face meeting serves to introduce the board members, explain what the problem is, and solicit September 2013 | ECHO Journal 29

Many boards will decide to waive a fine if compliance is obtained. If you do take this action, send a letter to the owner and resident advising them of the action of the board. Again, as a board you appear fair, forgiving, and a good neighbor. You show that the intent of the threatened fine was not to generate revenue for the association but to obtain compliance with the rules of the association. In the cases where the behavior continues, assess the fine. Make sure the fining schedule has incremental fines for multiple violations. Send the fine invoices to the owner, not the tenant.


The association has no legal relationship with the tenant. If the tenant continues to break the rules and the owner continues to obtain monetary fines, most landlords will give notice to terminate the rental agreement of the offending tenant. Diane Rossi is the president and Founder of Shoreline Property Management in Santa Cruz. She is a member of the ECHO board of directors and a member and past chair of the Central Coast Resource Panel.

Monterey Educational Seminar Saturday, September 21, 2013 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM



Hilton Garden Inn 1000 Aguajito Rd. Monterey, CA 93940

INSURANCE EXPLAINED John Allanson – Allanson Insurance Agency


BOARD DUTIES – MANAGING YOUR ASSOCIATION Diane Rossi, PCAM, CCAM – Shoreline Property Management

$59 $49 Members $69 $59 Nonmembers Prices go up after September 10!



September August 2013 | ECHO Journal 3131

Causes and cures of “hot spots” in turf By Judy O’Shaughnessy


ndian Summer is here! With warm weather comes the delicate balance of maintaining a beautiful landscape, while still conserving

water. One negative side effect that can surface from intense heat is “hot spots” in the turf. “Hot spots” or “brown spots” in turf can occur in warm months and can cause an unsightly curb appeal. Learn what to look for and how to address this issue below. One of the most common problems in turf care is addressing “hot spots” in turf. Often identified as an area where the turf is not an even green, these “spots” can be easier to see than to know how to fix. Too often, the water is dialed up


at the controller and the cost impacts the customer’s pocketbook. There are several steps one can take to help identify the underlying cause, correct the situation, and even help reduce water waste. One of the most common causes for a hot spot is improper irrigation coverage. Coverage issues can include clogged or misaligned nozzles, tilted or blocked heads (by turf or plants), and poor operating pressure of the irrigation station. A very common solution often overlooked is to watch the station and see if the heads are all functioning normally. Use of a pressure gauge at the heads will help determine if the heads are operating at the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. Too many heads, a broken head or lateral, and flow restriction at the valve all can affect sprinkler performance. Low pressure on rotors creates a “donut” ring around the head. If heads and nozzles are correct, but heads still lack “head to head” coverage, consider adding a head, where needed (if system capacity is adequate, or upgrade to rotary nozzles. Too much flow may require splitting the station up into more than one valve. Another common cause for a hot spot can be actually due to a grassy weed, known as “Poa Annua”. This weed looks like

grass, but has a very shallow root system; then during the summer, when the real grass deeper roots, these areas are starving for more frequent watering. Since soil evaporates more quickly at the surface, these weeds will show signs of stress. A careful strategic plan in the early spring to “slit seed” the turf area with hardier grasses that will help crowd out the weeds and help save water in the summer heat. One of the last recommendations for addressing a hot spot is to check the soils. This can be done initially with a soil core tool. Look at samples throughout the turf station, both in green areas and in the hot spots. If the soils are healthy, the soil shouldn’t have a rotted smell, and root depth should be at 4-6 inches. The turf station should have consistent moisture content throughout. If these are both okay, then the issue may be with the soil itself. There may be damage due to fertilizer burn, plant disease, or bad soil microbes. Consider sending soil samples from both good and bad to a lab for analysis. Judy O’Shaughnessy is the Property Management Specialist for Kelly-Moore Paint Company, Inc. She is Secretary for the ECHO Maintenance Panel and a regular contributor to the ECHO Journal.

September 2013 | ECHO Journal 33

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To make these a sustainable investment, new buyers, owners and board members need to understand “best practices basics” of how this form of housing works and have more realistic expectations of this form of “carefree, maintenance free” living.

Contains the current version of the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act, the Civil Code sections that apply to common interest developments and selected provisions from other codes important to associations.

Robert’s Rules of Order $7.50 Non-Member Price: $12.50

The Board’s Dilemma Non-Member Price:

A step-by-step guide to the rules for meetings of your association, the current and official manual adopted by most organizations to govern their meetings. This guide will provide many meeting procedures not covered by the association bylaws or other governing documents.

In this essay, attorney Tyler Berding confronts the growing financial problems for community associations. Mr. Berding addresses board members who are struggling to balance their duty to protect both individual owners and the corporation, and gives answers to associations trying to avoid a funding crisis.

2012 Community Association Treasurer’s Handbook Member Price: $29.00 Non-Member Price: $35.00

Reserve Fund Essentials Member Price: $18.00 Non-Member Price: $25.00

The Condo Owner’s Answer Book Non-Member Price:

This book is an easy to read, must-have guide for anyone who wants a clear, thorough explanation of reserve studies and their indispensable role in effective HOA planning. The author gives tips to help board members mold their reserve study into a useful financial tool.

An excellent guide to understanding the rights and responsibilities of condo ownership and operation of homeowner associations. The question-and-answer format responds to more than 125 commonly-asked questions in an easy to understand style. A great resource for newcomers and veteran owners.

This well-known compact guide for operation of common interest developments in California now includes a comprehensive index of the book and a chapter containing more than 200 frequently-asked questions about associations, along with succinct answers.


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The Handbook is an in-depth guide to all aspects of association finances, including accounting methods, financial statements, reserves, audits, taxes, investments and much more. Not for the accounting novice, this is a tool for the treasurer or professional looking for specific information about association finances.

Board Member Handbook Member Price: $15.00 Non-Member Price: $25.00 This publication is the essential guidebook for HOA Board members, dealing with governance, finances, insurance and maintenance issues. Revised and updated in June 2012.

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This report is a guide for directors and managers to use for interviews with prospective service contractors. Questions to find out capabilities and willingness of contractors to provide the services being sought are included for most of the contractor skills that associations use.


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September August 2013 | ECHO Journal 3535


advertiser index

about ECHO

Ace Property Management..................28

Helsing Group, The..............................25

American Management Services........23

M&C Association Management Services...........................2

Angius & Terry.......................................3 Applied Reserve Analysis....................29 A.S.A.P Collection Services.................25 Association Reserves...........................36 Benjamin Moore Paint & Company...28 Berding|Weil ........................................44 Cityscape Property Mgmt....................13 Collins Management............................38 Community Association Management.........................................14 Compass Management........................25 Cool Pool Service..................................14 Cornerstone Community Management.........................................18 Ekim Painting.......................................18 Eugene Burger Management Co.........30 First Bank..............................................19 Focus Bank............................................22 Grayson Community Management....30 Haney Accountants, Inc......................38

The Manor Association........................36 Mutual of Omaha Bank.......................36 Neighborhood Association Management.........................................24 PML Management................................19 Pollard Unlimited.................................22 R.E. Broocker Co...................................28 RealManage..........................................22 Rebello’s Towing..................................41 Saarman Construction.........................13 Silicon Valley Civil & Construction Quilici Engine.......................................24 Steve Tingley Painting, Inc..................43

WHAT IS ECHO? Serving Homeowners to Build Strong Community Associations The Educational Community for Homeowners (ECHO) is a nonprofit membership corporation dedicated to assisting California homeowner associations. ECHO provides help to homeowner associations on many fronts: finances, legal issues, insurance, maintenance and management. Members receive help through conferences, trade shows, seminars, online education, a monthly full-color magazine and discounted publications.

Who Should Join ECHO? If your association manages condominiums or a planned development, it can become a member of ECHO and receive all of the benefits designated for homeowner associations.

Benefits of Association Membership • Subscription to monthly magazine • Access to members-only online education • Updates to the Association Statute Book • Frequent educational seminars • Special prices for CID publications • Legislative advocacy in Sacramento

ECHO Membership Dues Association Membership 2 to 25 units....................................$120 26 to 50 units..................................$165 51 to 100 units................................$240 101 to 150 units..............................$315 151 to 200 units..............................$390 201 or more units...........................$495 Professional Membership.................$425 Association Management Membership.......................................$425 Individual Membership.....................$100

How Do You Join ECHO? Over 1,700 members benefit each year from their membership in ECHO. Find out what they’ve known for years by joining ECHO today. To apply for the membership, sign up online at www. For more information about membership and ECHO, call us at 408-297-3246 or visit the ECHO website.

September August 2013 | ECHO Journal 3737

directory updates

All current listings may be found in our Professionals Directory available online at

New Members Bay Alarm 1290 Hammerwood Ave. Suite D Sunnyvale, CA 94089 Contact: Doug Easter Tel: (408) 986.0519

Become an ECHO Professional Member and receive the benefits of membership. To learn more, visit our membership page at 38

ECHO event calendar

RESOURCE PANEL CALENDAR Thursday, September 5 North Bay Resource Panel 11:45 a.m. Contempo Marin Clubhouse, 400 Yosemite Dr, San Rafael

Friday, October 11 East Bay Resource Panel 12:00 Noon Massimo Restaurant, 1603 Locust St., Walnut Creek

Wednesday, November 20 Wine Country Resource Panel 11:45 a.m. Serv-Pro, 373 Blodgett St., Cotati

Monday, September 9 Accountants Resource Panel 6:00 p.m. Scott’s Seafood, 2 Broadway Oakland

Wednesday, October 16 Wine Country Resource Panel 11:45 a.m. Serv-Pro, 373 Blodgett St., Cotati

Wednesday, December 4 Maintenance Resource Panel 12:00 Noon ECHO Office, 1602 The Alameda, Suite 101, San Jose

Tuesday, September 10 Central Coast Resource Panel 12:00 Noon Michael’s On Main, 2591 S Main St., Soquel

Wednesday, October 16 Legal Resource Panel 6:30 p.m. Porterhouse, 60 E 3rd Ave, San Mateo

Wednesday, December 11 South Bay Resource Panel 12:00 Noon Buca Di Beppo 1875 S. Bascom Ave., Campbell

Wednesday, September 18 Wine Country Resource Panel 11:45 a.m. Serv-Pro, 373 Blodgett St., Cotati

Thursday, November 7 North Bay Resource Panel 11:45 a.m. Contempo Marin Clubhouse, 400 Yosemite Dr, San Rafael

Friday, December 13 East Bay Resource Panel 12:00 Noon Massimo Restaurant, 1603 Locust St., Walnut Creek

Wednesday, October 2 Maintenance Resource Panel 12:00 Noon ECHO Office, 1602 The Alameda, Suite 101, San Jose

Monday, November 11 Accountants Resource Panel 6:00 p.m. Scott’s Seafood, 2 Broadway Oakland

Wednesday, December 18 Wine Country Resource Panel 11:45 a.m. Serv-Pro, 373 Blodgett St., Cotati

Wednesday, October 9 South Bay Resource Panel 12:00 Noon Buca Di Beppo 1875 S. Bascom Ave., Campbell

Tuesday, November 12 Central Coast Resource Panel 12:00 Noon Michael’s On Main, 2591 S Main St., Soquel





First Wednesday, Even Months

ECHO Office, San Jose

North Bay

First Thursday, Odd Months

Contempo Marin Clubhouse, San Rafael

East Bay

Second Friday, Even Months

Massimo Restaurant, Walnut Creek


Second Monday, Odd months

Scott’s Seafood Restaurant, Oakland

Central Coast

Second Tuesday, Odd months

Michael’s On Main, Soquel

South Bay

Second Wednesday, Even Months

Buca Di Beppo, Campbell

Wine Country

Third Wednesday, Monthly

Serv-Pro, Cotati




September 2013 | ECHO Journal 39

ECHO honor roll


Regional Seminar Speakers

Accountant Panel Marco Lara, CPA 650-632-4211

Marin David Feingold, Esq. Wanden Treanor, Esq. Glenn Youngling, Esq.

Central Coast Panel John Allanson 831-685-0101 East Bay Panel Beth Grimm, Esq. 925-746-7177 Cindy Wall, 925-830-4580 Legal Panel Mark Wleklinski, Esq. 925-280-1191 Maintenance Panel Brian Seifert 831-708-2916 North Bay Panel Diane Kay, CCAM 415-846-7579 Stephany Charles, CCAM 415-458-3537 South Bay Panel George Engurasoff 408-295-7767 Wine Country Panel Pam Marsh 415-686-9342 Legislative Committee Paul Atkins Jeffrey Barnett, Esq. Sandra Bonato, Esq. Jerry Bowles Oliver Burford Joelyn Carr-Fingerle, CPA Chet Fitzell, CCAM John Garvic, Esq., Chair Geri Kennedy, CCAM Wanden Treanor, Esq.

San Francisco Steve Weil, Esq. Santa Cruz Lisa Esposito, CCAM Sharon Pratt, Esq. Rob Rosenberg, CCAM Paul Schultz Rosalia Tapia, Esq. Wine Country Carra Clampitt Bill Gillis, Esq. David Hughes Ken Kosloff Tom O’Neill Steve Weil, Esq. South Bay Derek Eckert Stephanie Hayes, Esq. Robert P. Hall Jr., Esq. Fresno Geri Kennedy David Levy, CPA Michael J. Hughes, Esq. Walnut Creek Stephanie Hayes, Esq. Lisa Esposito, CCAM Rob Rosenberg, CCAM Beth Grimm, Esq. ECHO San Jose Speakers September 24, 2013 Board Essentials Tyler Coffin Lisa Esposito, CCAM Pat Falconio Brian Kidney Mike Muilenberg Rob Rosenberg, CCAM Brian Seifert Wanden Treanor, Esq. Hot Topics Anton Bayer Ian Brown, CAM


Don Danmeier Glenn Kenes Nico March Steve Saarman Steve Weil, Esq. Legal Tyler Berding, JD, PhD John Garvic, Esq. Michael Hughes, Esq. Julia Hunting, JD, SE Kerry Mazzoni Alex Noland, Esq. Paul Windust, Esq. Recent Contributing Authors April 2013 Robert Aune Stephany Charles, CCAM Beth Grimm, Esq. Diane Kay, CCAM Hannah Skiles May 2013 Tyler Berding, PhD, Esq. Julia Hunting, Esq. Jeffrey Barnett, Esq. Ann Thomas Sherry Harvey, PCAM June 2013 Brian Kidney ECHO Maintenance Resource Panel Sandra Gottlieb, Esq. Alexander Noland, Esq. Tracy Neal, Esq. Stephanie Hayes, Esq. Richard Tippett Tyler Berding, JD, PhD David Levy, CPA July 2013 Anton Bayer, CFP Beth Grimm, Esq. Dave Phelps, ASLA, ISA Judy O’Shaughnessy Michael Petite August 2013 Julie Adamen Stan Malos, JD, PhD Sharon Glenn Pratt, Esq. John R. Schneider

legislation at a glimpse

Hot Bills Bill No






AB 968


Elections in Small Associations

This Assembly bill has Support stalled in the Senate Transportation & Housing Committee.

This bill seeks to establish alternative election procedures for associations of 15 units or less, if approved by a majority of the members. The new procedures would allow qualifying associations to conduct votes in simplified fashion, by nominating candidates and casting ballots at the election meeting.

AB 637


Maintenance Responsibilities

This bill is now a two-year bill, and will be reintroduced under a new number in 2014.


This ECHO-sponsored bill establishes that the owner of each separate interest is responsible for maintaining the exclusive use common area appurtenant to the separate interest unless otherwise provided for in the governing documents. ECHO is continuing to work to educate legislators on the importance of this clarification. As the bill is now on a two-year track, ECHO’s text has been removed from AB 637. Our language will be reintroduced in a new bill in 2014.

Other Legislation Bill No






SB 745

Committee on Transportation & Housing

Housing Omnibus Bill

This bill has passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee to the Consent Calendar.


“Omnibus� legislation is intended to clean up errors in existing codes, and proceeds absent any objections. This bill contains language that cleans up the rewritten Davis-Stirling act, among other provisions. ECHO is watching these changes closely to ensure that no substantive changes are introduced.

AB 126


Time-Share Mailing Lists

This bill not yet been set for hearing, and is dead for 2013.


This bill requires a time-share association to maintain a complete list of the names and postal addresses of all owners of time-share interests in the time-share plan and to update the list at least every 12 months.

AB 746


Smoking Prohibition

This bill failed in committee and is dead for 2013. The bill was granted reconsideration and may appear again in 2014.


This bill prohibits the smoking of cigarettes or other tobacco products in all areas of multifamily dwellings. It provides an exception for designated smoking areas.

AB 1360


Electronic Voting

This bill passed the Assembly with bipartisan support and is now in the Senate Judiciary Committee.


This bill authorizes an association to conduct elections or other membership balloting by electronic voting. It also requires an association to provide each member with an opportunity to indicate that he or she will be voting electronically and to provide a member who did not indicate so with a paper ballot.


ECHO Journal - September 2013  

A journal for California community associations.